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Wow - A Busy Week

Posted Sep 06 2008 4:09pm

What a week! There was a lot going on between C's birthday and getting ready for school. We had a small party for C. at the house. Just a couple of families who also have 3 year old boys , and a couple of neighborhood kids for my older 2 to play with. I am a big theme person when it comes to birthdays. C LOVES trains, so I chose a train theme. Since it was a small party I used Evite for the invitations, but I did customize the invite with an image of a train. I also tend to get obsessive about coordinating goodie bags and the cake. I always make my own cake - except for the time I was 7 months pregnant.

I purposely planned food that would be safe for the kids. I normally do serve wheat products to my older children, when we have other kids running around the house I do not allow anything that could harm C. I would worry that he would eat a stray cracker. We also have a friend who's son has Celiac's disease, so I wanted to have things he could eat too. I held the party from 2 to 4 on a Sunday so I did not have to prepare a meal. Here is what I served:

Corn Tortilla chips (Tostito's now make an ORGANIC yellow corn chip - I am so happy, since C eats a lot of snack food I would at least like it to be organic!)
Spinach dip - it did have mayonnaise , but there is no way C would touch it with a 10 foot pole! Served with carrots and corn chips.
Bruschetta for the adults. - I had every intention of making gluten free french bread, but I ran out of time. Since it was just for adults I went ahead and used a store bought baguette. Again, there is no way C. would touch it.
Birthday Cake made from Cherrybrook Kitchens and ice cream.
Assorted adult and kid friendly beverages.

The weather was perfect - sunny and not too hot, so we did end up sitting on the patio for quite a while. We gave everyone a train tattoo when they arrived and had train bubbles to play outside on the deck. I ordered a foam train craft foam Oriental Trading Company, and purchased a "Stick the Number on Thomas Game" the kids had a lot of fun with the activities. The kids were so silly trying to put the number in the right place on Thomas. My husband also set up a large train track in the family room with our wooden Thomas Train track set. After that they were happy to play in the yard and the basement. It really does not take much to entertain 3 and 4 year olds.

The cake was great! It looked fabulous. My mother in law had bought me a great silicone cupcake kit from Wilton.

It is designed like a puzzle to make a train, dump truck, or rocket. It really makes the creative process very easy. This cake was very easy to make - you can decorate using any safe candy that your child likes. I used Skittles and Twizzlers. I hope they make more designs. Perhaps a girl theme?

I debated making some regular cupcake for the adults, but my husband and I tasted the Cherrybrook Kitchens cupcakes and decided they were good for everyone. They are really good straight out of the oven. The next day they are a little dry - but frosting and ice cream can hide that. I did serve chocolate (I do prefer vanilla) which I feel is not as moist. Everyone loved them - you really can not tell that there is no wheat or egg. They were all devoured! I also used the Cherrybrook Kitchens frosting. It is delicious and easy to work with. It spreads smoothly and pipes easily. One thing I did learn, was to use Crisco instead of butter if you want true white frosting. I have read it before, but I think it seems too unappealing - I do not even use it in cookies. The butter gave my frosting a slight yellow tinge, which makes it harder to dye accurately. My blue and greens were not exactly the shade I had hoped for.

I found a great web site for goody bags and supplies. It is Birthday In A Box. All you do is search the site for the theme you want, and they have pre selected goody bags you can order. I was really impressed, for $5.99 per bag I was able to buy a conductors hat, toy train, train whistle, train stickers and super ball. I was impressed with the service (delivery was prompt) and the quality. Since we were having a small party, it was in the budget (and I feel a good value). For a bigger party it might add up - but there is something to be said for convenience too. If you are looking for a birthday resource, check it out.
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